Meet Adam and Robin Francis
In January of 2012, Adam and Robin had an interesting discussion while celebrating the completion of a marathon in Kissimee, FL. It had been Robin’s first, and Adam’s third, marathon and they were celebrating at Chili’s over cheeseburgers and beer. Robin had been doing research on plant based diets. She had seen the video“Forks over Knives” and wanted to “reboot” their eating habits to see what affect it would have on their health.
Neither of them were overweight but Robin felt passionate enough about it to pursue the research and it was making Adam curious. They agreed to try the six week reboot together. What they ended up with was a lifestyle change. Now, two and a half years in, they will never look back.
Adam says “The results were staggering. I went from 182 to 154 pounds and my fasting blood sugar dropped from 103 to 90. My prostate, upon physical exam, was normal even though it had been enlarged for several years, and my blood pressure dropped from the 130s to 100s”After 12 years, Adam is off Lipitor® seemingly for good with his numbers back in more than realistic ranges. Specifically his LDL (bad cholesterol) went from 178 to 88. Both he and Robin have buckets more energy from the fuel they are feeding their bodies and the fringe benefit of having dropped excess weight.
This weight loss didn’t come without harsh criticism. People at work were telling Adam that he looked emaciated and that it couldn’t be healthy. What it boiled down to for them was that they were no longer addicted to food.
The change in diet had an impact on Adam’s performance as well. In 2013, Adam made records at nearly every distance he competed in. His marathon went down 23 minutes even after having set a record in the half marathon the day before! He dropped 30 minutes at the St Anthony Triathlon. Currently he is training for HITS in January and for several Ironman and Half Ironman events.
So how did they do it?
For Robin, she says she needed structure and an outline for success. The research and info sheets she made were compelling motivation. The six week detox plan was goal oriented. She needed to know what not to eat and how much. Once all of this was in place, it was just a matter of committing to the change and buying into it together. She says, “he ate what I ate. At first he was sort of on and off. About half way through our taste buds changed. Once the labs came back we were all in.” About every four months they would decide to have red meat. In their research animal products are “ok,” but they just try not to overdo the percentages. They avoid processed foods completely. It is their belief that animal products may potentially put them at more risk for disease or cancer. Whether you agree or disagree, their results are fantastic.
I asked them how this has affected people they know. They said, at first people would criticize, but then they would see the same people and start to notice them bringing in salads to the lunch room, upping their water intake and consuming less sugary beverages even if they were less committed.
Robin is a Fourth Grade Teacher and Adam a Nurse Educator. Interestingly, it was Robin educating Adam, someone in the health industry. She was largely motivated by her family’s medical history and the desire for herself and Adam to be healthy. Genetic predisposition, particularly on Adam’s side, did not bode well in these areas. Another key area for their success was that they tied it into their faith. This whole journey has brought them closer in every aspect of their lives.
Both Adam and Robin have been part of the Gobble Gobble for countless years. Adam says, “it’s like a coming out party. Its a good race for a good cause. Everyone is having fun and dressing up.” They both volunteered at the 2013 Gobble and were so appreciated for their hard work.
Please share their story and think about what you are eating: even if its just in a small way. In their case, it started with curiosity and commitment. We can do better. As proud supporters of the 95210 Kids on the Go program, we feel it is a very important issue. With childhood obesity looming large in our country, we owe it to our kids to show them healthy lifestyles.